About

I'm a lifelong sports fan, travel addict, and naturalized Bostonian with a weakness for European soccer. I delved into journalism in 2008, went to my first major tournament in 2012 (the Euro), and now am working as a freelance columnist and Per Mertesacker impersonator.

You can read my regular articles on Bleacherreport.com, and follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Mr_Bundesliga

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  • moises meir posted 147 days ago

    moises meir

    The title for you latest article is kind of confusing. ¨Mainz Loss Means Bayern Munich Set to Face Borussia Dortmund at the Perfect Time¨. it sounds like Mainz was the team that lost. you should put loss against mainz or something like that

  • Benzema's Sexxx Tape posted 252 days ago

    Benzema's Sexxx Tape

    http://www.bild.de/sport/fussball/borussia-dortmund/jagt-polen-talent-43454978.bild.html

  • felix omwega posted 295 days ago

    felix omwega

    Have Bayern Munich destroyed Borussia Dortmund's success?

    By Andy Cryer
    BBC Sport
    "Bayern Munich want to destroy us," said Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke after Robert Lewandowski became the latest of his players to agree a switch to the Allianz Arena in January.
    The Poland striker scored his first goal against his former club in Bayern's 2-1 win on Saturday to help condemn Dortmund to a fifth straight league loss and leave them third from bottom in the Bundesliga.
    So, with Marco Reus possibly following Lewandowski and Mario Gotze to Munich, are Bayern to blame for the 2013 Champions League finalists' decline?
    Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund revolution

    Borussia Dortmund fans
    Jurgen Klopp described winning the domestic double with Dortmund in 2012 as being "better than he could have imagined"
    A Champions League final, two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup: Jurgen Klopp has helped Die Schwarzgelben return to the European elite from the brink of bankruptcy since being appointed coach in July 2008.
    Dortmund were no stranger to success, having won the Champions League in 1997, and winning three Bundesliga titles between 1995 and 2002, but when Klopp arrived from Mainz the club was on the brink of collapse.
    Play media
    Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
    What has gone wrong for Dortmund?
    Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told FAZ in 2013 that the club was "a millimetre away from going bust" during that period. Between 2004 to 2008, they finished sixth, seventh, ninth and 13th.
    Their re-emergence began when Klopp was appointed as they won the Bundesliga in 2010-11 with the youngest team ever to win the domestic title. The following year, Dortmund successfully defended their title and won the German Cup, to make it a historic double.
    On 24 April 2013 they defeated Real Madrid 4-1 to set up a trip to Wembley for the Champions League final but, following defeat by rivals Bayern, their era of success has slowly started to subside.
    "Klopp has done a brilliant job," said NDR Radio reporter Alexander Bleick. "When he took over, Dortmund were a middle class team."
    From champs to chumps

    Roman Weidenfeller
    Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has seen his side concede 17 goals in 10 matches this season
    Bayern emphasised their Bundesliga dominance last season when they defended their title with a record seven games to go, finishing 19 points above runners-up Dortmund.
    Few would have predicted what was to follow though, with Saturday's defeat by Bayern leaving Dortmund 17 points behind their rivals after just 10 matches and, with just seven points, sitting in the bottom three.
    Their worst ever start to a Bundesliga campaign is contradictory to their Champions League form, where Dortmund sit top of Group D with three wins out of three and yet to concede a goal.
    Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told BBC World: "It is true you almost get the feeling we have two faces at the moment. One in the Bundesliga and one in the Champions League."
    When did it all go wrong?

    Bayern Munich
    Arjen Robben's late goal gave Bayern a 2-1 Champions League final win over Dortmund in 2013
    The 2013 Champions League final defeat to Bayern is seen by many as the moment things started to go wrong.
    Had Dortmund been crowned kings of Europe, perhaps they would have been able to prevent their stars from deserting to the Allianz Arena?
    This seems a little simplistic as the signs of Dortmund's collapse were already in evidence. Star midfielder Mario Gotze's £31.5m move to Bayern was announced on the eve of the Champions League defeat for starters.
    Also that season, Dortmund may have been Bundesliga runners-up but they finished 26 points behind champions Bayern to suggest the latter's dominance had already begun.
    The key departure this summer was Robert Lewandowski's move to Bayern after 101 goals in 185 appearances for Dortmund.
    Klopp was busy in the transfer market over the summer in a bid to replace him, signing last season's Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile from Torino, sealing the return of Shinji Kagawa from Manchester United and buying Adrian Ramos from Hertha Berlin.
    But they have just 10 goals after as many matches this season, compared with 22 goals at the same stage last season.
    "They haven't been able to replace Lewandowski," said Bleick. "They have tried but they lack the self-confidence to score the goals. "
    'Copycat' Bayern Munich to blame?

    Pep Guardiola and Marco Reus
    Marco Reus's Dortmund contract runs until 2017 but Bayern are reportedly interested in the midfielder
    So it is all Bayern's fault then? Maybe not, but it is fair to say relations between the two clubs are not good.
    The traditional pre-match lunch between Bayern and Dortmund bosses was scrapped yesterday after a war of words between the two clubs that has been ongoing almost ever since Gotze's £31.5m switch.
    Their relationship hasn't been helped by Bayern's recent pursuit of Marco Reus, Dortmund's 25-year-old Germany midfielder.
    Watzke told Bild in January: "They have helped themselves to our players, so we wouldn't be a danger."
    Bayern splash the cash
    In the past four seasons, Bayern Munich have spent in the region of £56.5m compared to Dortmund's estimated £36.5m
    In that period Bayern have received around £16m for sales, while Dortmund have received an approximate £52m
    He also told TZ last month: "There are players here at Dortmund who are happy to play for 20% less money. But that's not the case when we're talking about 50% less money. It's like they (Bayern) want all of our players."
    Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge responded in Saturday's match programme: "We don't have to weaken anybody. Every transfer has exclusively one goal, to strengthen the team's quality."
    "A few years ago the two clubs had quite a good relationship," said Bleick. "But when Borussia Dortmund won the title twice, they were celebrating quite offensively, saying 'we are back now'. Bayern did not like that.
    "When Dortmund beat Bayern 5-2 in the German Cup final, the celebrations were extraordinary. Bayern decided they have to get back and spent a lot of money and the relationship got worse.
    "Dortmund believe Bayern Munich want to destroy their work."
    Other reasons for downfall

    Robert Lewandowski
    Robert Lewandowski joined Bayern from Dortmund on a free transfer in the summer
    To blame Bayern's transfer policy for Dortmund's decline would be too easy.
    Sporting director Michael Zorc said: "We've made unbelievable mistakes in the defence, like never before."
    "Bayern Munich's signing of Dortmund's players is just one factor," said Bleick. "Although the main problem is replacing Lewandowski.
    "Injuries have not helped either and when they get their players back I think we will be looking at Dortmund improving."
    Striker Aubameyang believes motivation has been a factor in Dortmund's struggles this season, admitting the Champions League games feel different.
    "I think we are going to have find extra motivation in the league," he told BBC World. "When you are playing in the Champions League there is no need to have extra motivation because the games are so special."
    Always look on the bright side

    Jurgen Klopp
    Borussia Dortmund have the highest average attendance in the world
    "Despite Dortmund's struggles there are no whistles or posters against the manager from the supporters," said Bleick. "They still admire and support him."
    One woman even made a declaration of love during a news conference before the match against Bayern on Tuesday, saying to Klopp: "You led us to success and we will lead you through the crisis."
    Play media
    Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
    'In Germany, the fan is king'
    During BBC World's visit to Dortmund at the weekend, statements from the fans included "nothing much is wrong", "They are not so hungry", "I think they will come again".
    Bleick continued: "Dortmund aren't so strong as they were last year but in a couple of months, I think we will be talking about them back into eighth or ninth.
    "Bayern Munich are becoming quite untouchable, other teams don't have the depth to catch them. If they struggle in the Champions League again this season I expect them to spend a lot of money again."
    Klopp said of Bayern's pursuit of Reus last week: "I believe life is fair and if you misbehave while you are successful, you will get it back one day."
    He may have to wait a while to get his revenge but there is no shortage of belief he is still the man to achieve it.

  • felix omwega posted 295 days ago

    felix omwega

    Have Bayern Munich destroyed Borussia Dortmund's success?

    By Andy Cryer
    BBC Sport
    "Bayern Munich want to destroy us," said Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke after Robert Lewandowski became the latest of his players to agree a switch to the Allianz Arena in January.
    The Poland striker scored his first goal against his former club in Bayern's 2-1 win on Saturday to help condemn Dortmund to a fifth straight league loss and leave them third from bottom in the Bundesliga.
    So, with Marco Reus possibly following Lewandowski and Mario Gotze to Munich, are Bayern to blame for the 2013 Champions League finalists' decline?
    Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund revolution

    Borussia Dortmund fans
    Jurgen Klopp described winning the domestic double with Dortmund in 2012 as being "better than he could have imagined"
    A Champions League final, two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup: Jurgen Klopp has helped Die Schwarzgelben return to the European elite from the brink of bankruptcy since being appointed coach in July 2008.
    Dortmund were no stranger to success, having won the Champions League in 1997, and winning three Bundesliga titles between 1995 and 2002, but when Klopp arrived from Mainz the club was on the brink of collapse.
    Play media
    Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
    What has gone wrong for Dortmund?
    Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told FAZ in 2013 that the club was "a millimetre away from going bust" during that period. Between 2004 to 2008, they finished sixth, seventh, ninth and 13th.
    Their re-emergence began when Klopp was appointed as they won the Bundesliga in 2010-11 with the youngest team ever to win the domestic title. The following year, Dortmund successfully defended their title and won the German Cup, to make it a historic double.
    On 24 April 2013 they defeated Real Madrid 4-1 to set up a trip to Wembley for the Champions League final but, following defeat by rivals Bayern, their era of success has slowly started to subside.
    "Klopp has done a brilliant job," said NDR Radio reporter Alexander Bleick. "When he took over, Dortmund were a middle class team."
    From champs to chumps

    Roman Weidenfeller
    Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has seen his side concede 17 goals in 10 matches this season
    Bayern emphasised their Bundesliga dominance last season when they defended their title with a record seven games to go, finishing 19 points above runners-up Dortmund.
    Few would have predicted what was to follow though, with Saturday's defeat by Bayern leaving Dortmund 17 points behind their rivals after just 10 matches and, with just seven points, sitting in the bottom three.
    Their worst ever start to a Bundesliga campaign is contradictory to their Champions League form, where Dortmund sit top of Group D with three wins out of three and yet to concede a goal.
    Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told BBC World: "It is true you almost get the feeling we have two faces at the moment. One in the Bundesliga and one in the Champions League."
    When did it all go wrong?

    Bayern Munich
    Arjen Robben's late goal gave Bayern a 2-1 Champions League final win over Dortmund in 2013
    The 2013 Champions League final defeat to Bayern is seen by many as the moment things started to go wrong.
    Had Dortmund been crowned kings of Europe, perhaps they would have been able to prevent their stars from deserting to the Allianz Arena?
    This seems a little simplistic as the signs of Dortmund's collapse were already in evidence. Star midfielder Mario Gotze's £31.5m move to Bayern was announced on the eve of the Champions League defeat for starters.
    Also that season, Dortmund may have been Bundesliga runners-up but they finished 26 points behind champions Bayern to suggest the latter's dominance had already begun.
    The key departure this summer was Robert Lewandowski's move to Bayern after 101 goals in 185 appearances for Dortmund.
    Klopp was busy in the transfer market over the summer in a bid to replace him, signing last season's Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile from Torino, sealing the return of Shinji Kagawa from Manchester United and buying Adrian Ramos from Hertha Berlin.
    But they have just 10 goals after as many matches this season, compared with 22 goals at the same stage last season.
    "They haven't been able to replace Lewandowski," said Bleick. "They have tried but they lack the self-confidence to score the goals. "
    'Copycat' Bayern Munich to blame?

    Pep Guardiola and Marco Reus
    Marco Reus's Dortmund contract runs until 2017 but Bayern are reportedly interested in the midfielder
    So it is all Bayern's fault then? Maybe not, but it is fair to say relations between the two clubs are not good.
    The traditional pre-match lunch between Bayern and Dortmund bosses was scrapped yesterday after a war of words between the two clubs that has been ongoing almost ever since Gotze's £31.5m switch.
    Their relationship hasn't been helped by Bayern's recent pursuit of Marco Reus, Dortmund's 25-year-old Germany midfielder.
    Watzke told Bild in January: "They have helped themselves to our players, so we wouldn't be a danger."
    Bayern splash the cash
    In the past four seasons, Bayern Munich have spent in the region of £56.5m compared to Dortmund's estimated £36.5m
    In that period Bayern have received around £16m for sales, while Dortmund have received an approximate £52m
    He also told TZ last month: "There are players here at Dortmund who are happy to play for 20% less money. But that's not the case when we're talking about 50% less money. It's like they (Bayern) want all of our players."
    Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge responded in Saturday's match programme: "We don't have to weaken anybody. Every transfer has exclusively one goal, to strengthen the team's quality."
    "A few years ago the two clubs had quite a good relationship," said Bleick. "But when Borussia Dortmund won the title twice, they were celebrating quite offensively, saying 'we are back now'. Bayern did not like that.
    "When Dortmund beat Bayern 5-2 in the German Cup final, the celebrations were extraordinary. Bayern decided they have to get back and spent a lot of money and the relationship got worse.
    "Dortmund believe Bayern Munich want to destroy their work."
    Other reasons for downfall

    Robert Lewandowski
    Robert Lewandowski joined Bayern from Dortmund on a free transfer in the summer
    To blame Bayern's transfer policy for Dortmund's decline would be too easy.
    Sporting director Michael Zorc said: "We've made unbelievable mistakes in the defence, like never before."
    "Bayern Munich's signing of Dortmund's players is just one factor," said Bleick. "Although the main problem is replacing Lewandowski.
    "Injuries have not helped either and when they get their players back I think we will be looking at Dortmund improving."
    Striker Aubameyang believes motivation has been a factor in Dortmund's struggles this season, admitting the Champions League games feel different.
    "I think we are going to have find extra motivation in the league," he told BBC World. "When you are playing in the Champions League there is no need to have extra motivation because the games are so special."
    Always look on the bright side

    Jurgen Klopp
    Borussia Dortmund have the highest average attendance in the world
    "Despite Dortmund's struggles there are no whistles or posters against the manager from the supporters," said Bleick. "They still admire and support him."
    One woman even made a declaration of love during a news conference before the match against Bayern on Tuesday, saying to Klopp: "You led us to success and we will lead you through the crisis."
    Play media
    Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
    'In Germany, the fan is king'
    During BBC World's visit to Dortmund at the weekend, statements from the fans included "nothing much is wrong", "They are not so hungry", "I think they will come again".
    Bleick continued: "Dortmund aren't so strong as they were last year but in a couple of months, I think we will be talking about them back into eighth or ninth.
    "Bayern Munich are becoming quite untouchable, other teams don't have the depth to catch them. If they struggle in the Champions League again this season I expect them to spend a lot of money again."
    Klopp said of Bayern's pursuit of Reus last week: "I believe life is fair and if you misbehave while you are successful, you will get it back one day."
    He may have to wait a while to get his revenge but there is no shortage of belief he is still the man to achieve it.

  • felix omwega posted 295 days ago

    felix omwega

    "Why Bayern should gamble on gundogan" - so I clark Whitney can write lots of hate articles of how bayern steal all Dortmunds players...

  • felix omwega posted 295 days ago

    felix omwega

    "Why Bayern should gamble on gundogan" - so I clark Whitney can write lots of hate articles of how bayern steal all Dortmunds players...It's a stupid idea, the one thing we do not need this year is another central midfielder, we desperately need a winger, so Gotze isn't stuck out on the wing and causing us to play with essentially 10 men... Please please let bayern get Griezmann, he is made for us...

  • felix omwega posted 295 days ago

    felix omwega

    Why Bayern Munich Should Take a Risk on Ilkay Gundogan
    By Clark Whitney , Featured Columnist Jun 3, 2015

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    Why Bayern Munich Should Take a Risk on Ilkay GundoganAlex Grimm/Getty Images
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    Until quite recently, it seemed that Ilkay Gundogan would join Bayern Munich this summer. However, a Tuesday report in Bild (in German) claimed that despite advanced talks between player and club, the move had reached a standstill.

    The reasons given for the move's failure were that the Borussia Dortmund midfielder had demanded more money than Bayern were willing to pay him as salary, and that the club's bosses were divided over whether he'd bring enough quality to truly improve the German record champions.

    According to the report, Matthias Sammer and Michael Reschke remain convinced in Gundogan's quality, but Pep Guardiola and (predictably) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge concluded after the player's poor performance in Saturday's DFB-Pokal final that he was not the right man.


    Gundogan indeed was quite disappointing in a big game against Wolfsburg, and despite playing consistently throughout the second round of the 2014-15 season, he hasn't reached his best since returning from a back injury that kept him sidelined for well over a year. The concerns over what he can bring to the table are legitimate. Yet Bayern may later regret passing on their opportunity to sign him.

    Critical to the Gundogan discussion is how needed he is: Are Bayern lacking the qualities he can bring to the table, and is there another player they can target who could offer the same?

    For the last two seasons, Bayern have seen an aging central midfield grow older and slower. Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Xabi Alonso now are well past their best years; the former two are injury-prone and the latter will turn 34 years of age this fall.

    They all offer rather similar characteristics on the ball and have their limits in possession, able to distribute the ball in deep areas but lacking the power to bring the ball into the final third and the quickness of mind and quality of touch to reliably create scoring chances in and around the penalty area. And in defense, they all lack pace.


    Sebastian Rode has the physical qualities to play in the Bayern midfield, but is not the kind of player whose touch can be relied upon against elite opposition.

    David Alaba has physicality and skill, but his one-footedness can be a problem and he is much better suited to a defensive game. In Guardiola's team he's developed into a defensive all-rounder, serving as auxiliary right-back, center-back and defensive midfielder more or less simultaneously. It's a hugely challenging role that he somehow manages to fulfill, but one that makes it impossible for him to be the key man building up play from deep areas.

    Thiago Alcantara is the most dynamic midfielder Bayern have right now, and indeed, the German champions have a gem in the Spain international. He may not be the most physically imposing midfielder, but Thiago is no shrinking violet and has plenty of ball-winners around him.

    Xavi was able to become perhaps the best midfielder in history without offering much in terms of defensive ability, and Thiago could yet become a legend for his quality on the ball. He can dribble and distribute the ball at any depth of the pitch. He's creative enough to play as a No. 10 and can even finish himself. Quite simply, Thiago is a total footballer, at least in possession, and at 24 years of age, he's the type of player Bayern can plan to work with for years to come.

    Alex Livesey/Getty Images
    Gundogan showed his cool nerves in the 2013 Champions League final.
    The problem with Thiago is that he's extremely injury-prone, having played in just 38 games (per Transfermarkt) in two seasons at Bayern. Even when fit, quality opposition can focus on cutting off his supply of the ball or at least stopping him from bringing the play forward.

    Barcelona did this brilliantly in the Champions League semifinals, which exposed Bayern's lack of another skilled option to bring the ball forward. The presence of a Gundogan-type player would have been extremely useful in those games.

    Looking around Europe, there aren't many options that Bayern can reasonably pursue. Marco Verratti or Paul Pogba would cost a fortune, while Arturo Vidal would be very hard to pry away from Juventus, especially if the Champions League finalists sell his French international teammate.

    All are attainable for a price, but if Bayern are to sign Angel Di Maria or Antoine Griezmann, they certainly won't pay another record transfer fee in the same summer. And an attacker has to be a higher priority.


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    There's no question that Gundogan is nowhere near the level he was at in 2012-13, and that any team that would sign him would accept considerable risk. He could well flop.

    On the other hand, to write him off for his Pokal performance would be a mistake, just as it would be a mistake to write off Thiago for disappointing against Barca.

    Gundogan has a record as a big-game performer: He was the best central midfielder in the 2012-13 Champions League, having outplayed Yaya Toure and Xabi Alonso in their primes. Even in a losing effort in the final he was immense, and showed his leadership and calm nerve as he (and not Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus or Mario Gotze) dispatched the penalty that leveled the score at 1-1.

    What Gundogan needs more than anything right now is a strong and stable club that can support his resurgence, and a full preseason to integrate. He hasn't lost his touch and skill; these are natural factors. And still 24 years of age, he is approaching his physical prime. It's not as though he's a broken man in the twilight of his career. Odds are that, sooner or later, Gundogan will come good.

    Bayern may indeed find the Germany international too expensive to invest in and may well not secure his signature, but their other options are hardly attractive. They have an aging midfield, and youngsters like Pierre Hojbjerg and Joshua Kimmich are still at least a few steps from the top level. And any truly qualified alternative in the transfer market would be exorbitantly expensive.

    Gundogan may be a risk, but the greater risk may be in passing on the opportunity to sign him.



    @Mr_Bundesliga

  • Mister Daniel posted 305 days ago

    Mister Daniel

    TROLL

  • Thomas Maegerle posted 490 days ago

    Thomas Maegerle

    Hello Clark,
    Nice article on German's teams, but you omitted a tournament in Canada this Summer. Germany's WNT deserves equal billing.

  • Echte Liebe posted 507 days ago

    Echte Liebe

    I know you aren't popular among some of the readers,but I think you do a good job. BL only has 2 writers for the Bundesliga. However you and Stefan only seem to write about Dortmund and Bayern, perhaps some other teams deserve more recognition (Wolfsburg)

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